Senate Expected to Delay DTV Transition to June 12th on Optional Basis

Because there are 1.4 million households on the underfunded digital converter voucher waiting list, the Senate is finalizing a proposal to delay the DTV switchover to June 12th—a bill that's expected to pass unanimously.

The bill (a rewrite of the Obama-supported Sen. Jay Rockefeller plan) doesn't look to provide more funding for DTV vouchers—it's more a slam on the brakes maneuver to buy everyone some time. The most important point about the bill, however, is that it leaves broadcasters the "option" to still make the DTV switch on February 17th.

On one hand, that's the only fair plan that the government could leave broadcasters after forcing them to make major internal technological revisions. On the other, viewers who weren't prepped for February 17th could still lose some (or even all) channels in spite of the formal delay. [WSJ and Getty Images Photo]